England beaten in World Rugby U20 Championship opener

5 June 2019

Tom de Glanville and Ollie Fox both featured for England U20s in their World Rugby U20 Championship opener against Ireland, but it was the Grand Slam winners who came out 42-26 winners in Sante Fe, Argentina.

England opened up the scoring following good defensive work from Aaron Hinckley, who read the Irish line-out well with a rush defence to win a penalty. Manu Vunipola's long range effort sailed straight through the posts to give his side the early lead. [3-0]

Fox, Bath's latest recruit to the Academy ignited England’s first try of the game. The scrum-half put in a well-timed box kick which forced a mistake and from the resulting scrum. The ball went wide to Ollie Sleightholme, who found his way over in the corner to increase England's advantage with just eight minutes played. [10-0]

Ireland responded moments later stealing line-out ball, which eventually led to fly-half Jake Flannery crossing the whitewash. [10-7]

After some good work in midfield by Hinckley, Vunipola returned to the field to slot another penalty to give England a six-point lead. [13-7]

Following some positive play from England, Ireland capitalised on loose ball at the back of ruck to put them in front for the first time on the 26 minute mark, with Stewart Moore pouncing to score.  [13-14] 

Just before the break England were down to 14-men after Hinckley was awarded a yellow card for foul play, but England held off a torrent spell of pressure to close out a tightly fought first-half in Sante Fe.

Half-time - England U20s 13-14 Ireland U20s

Vunipola opened the second period as he did the first, this time a penalty from close-range. England continued to add to the scoreboard, with Sleightholme adding a second of the game. Cameron Redpath set the tone showing a clean set of heals which put England into good field position before Fraser Dingwall put in Sleightholme over the line with a clever cross field kick. [21-14] 

England were then reduced to 14 men, with Vunipola given a yellow card for dangerous play. Ireland made the extra man pay off, with David McCann crashing over from a five-metre line-out. [21-21] 

England responded well with Ted Hill grappling a loose ball, before a decisive flat ball from Fox gave de Glanville the opportunity to put Tom Seabrook through to score with 52 minutes on the clock. [26-21] 

The game’s pendulum kept swinging, and a well-worked line-out and drive saw McCann add his second try of the game. Sharpshooting Healy was on target again to give his side the lead. [26-28]

With the game drifting into the last 15 minutes, England's Alfie Barbeary was shown a straight red card for bringing his man above the horizontal. Ireland once again put pressure on the 14 men and Healy dived over in the corner to all but seal the result. [26-35] 

Ireland closed out the result as John Hodnett's try added gloss to the scoreline, with Healy converting to complete a perfect day at the office. [26-42]

Full-time - England U20 26-42 Ireland U20

England U20 fixtures

4th June: England U20s 26-42 Ireland U20s

8th June: England U20s v Italy U20s (KO 7.30pm BST), live on World Rugby platforms.

12th June: England U20s v Australia U20s (KO 7.30pm BST), live on World Rugby platforms.

Knock-out stages on Monday 17th June and finals day on Saturday 22nd June, live on ITV.

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